‘A Pleasure and an Honor’: Students’ Writing on Academic Dress at Columbia University, 1820–1950, and Updates on Previous Notes

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Transactions of the Burgon Society, Vol: 14, Issue: 1

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Wolgast, Stephen L.
New Prairie Press
Academical dress; Origins of university costume; History of academic dress; Academic cap and gown
article description
College records from centuries past tell us the rules that students followed when they put on their academic dress. Collections of engravings and photographs show us how they looked. When dressed for class, exams and chapel, how did they feel? That’s harder to say. So when the archives of the student newspaper at Columbia University were digitized recently, I was hopeful that students had committed to ink their thoughts about the ancient costume in the years following the paper’s 1877 founding. I was happy to find that they wrote about cap and gown frequently. [Excerpt].